Hull City 0-2 Manchester City
Ten-man Manchester City produced a potentially season-defining display to take three points from Hull City at the KC Stadium on Saturday.
The visitors were looking to shrug off FA Cup and Champions League exits this week, but captain Vincent Kompany found himself on the receiving end of a red card after just 10 minutes for a last-man challenge on Nikica Jelavic.
However, David Silva produced an excellent finish four minutes later when he curled the ball around Allan McGregor as City bounced back in style.
The makeshift City defence held firm under the weight of a number of Hull attacks, particularly through the second half, before Edin Dzeko grabbed the second to seal the points in the 90th minute.
Hull manager Steve Bruce restored Jake Livermore, Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long to his starting line-up from the team that beat Sunderland in the FA Cup quarter-final last weekend.
Manchester City were without striker Sergio Aguero, while defender Martin Demichelis returned to the first XI after being suspended for the Champions League defeat at Barcelona.
Hull looked dangerous in the opening stages with Jelavic and Long combining particularly well, and it was the former Everton striker who was at the centre of the moment of controversy in the game.
Jelavic chased down a Long ball and appeared to foul Kompany, but the City captain stuck out his leg to fell the Tigers forward and earned a straight red card in the 10th minute.
Four minutes later, though, the visitors responded in style. A smart ball from Samir Nasri found Silva on the edge of the area.
The Spaniard struck it first time to send the ball curling beyond Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor to give City a 1-0 lead they held for the remainder of the half.
Pablo Zabaleta would later hit the crossbar with a tremendous strike later in the half, but the ball dropped onto the line and was cleared.
But Hull manager Bruce will have been frustrated with his forward being persistently caught offside to undo all of the hard work that had been put in by the likes of Ahmed Elmohamady with some dangerous balls into the area.
Elmohamady could have been considered fortunate not to receive a red card for a woeful challenge on Silva in the 34th minute.
The second half saw Hull attempt to bombard the City defence, but Javi Garcia and Demichelis held firm at the back.
There was a moment of controversy for City goalkeeper Joe Hart, who was shown a yellow card for angrily confronting Hull substitute George Boyd for a perceived dive in the area.
However, there would be no question marks over Manchester City's resilience when Silva provided the killer pass in the 90th minute for Dzeko to seal the points for City.
But Hull manager Bruce will regret the number of times his forward line was caught offside throughout the match.
Selected player ratings
David Silva: A+
Quite simply, brilliant. The Manchester City playmaker was the architect of the win after scoring the opener in the 14th minute with a delightful curling strike.
Always looking for the through ball to set up others, Silva succeeded in the final minute with his pass for Dzeko to slot home.
Javi Garcia: A
Garcia produced an excellent performance alongside Demichelis in a makeshift City defence following the red card for Kompany.
Nikica Jelavic: B+
Jelavic was a handful for the Manchester City defence throughout the match, but he was also responsible for falling into the hands of the offside ploy throughout the 90 minutes.
Hull play host to relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League next Saturday.
Manchester City will also return to action next weekend when struggling Fulham are the visitors to the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini praised his team for their display, but did not believe Kompany should have been dismissed, as Paul Handler of the Manchester Evening News reported.
It was clearly a foul from Jelavic but the referee didn't see it or didn't give a foul, so after Kompany's foul, he is the last man and it's a red card, but there was a foul before that.
But I just want to talk about my team, we had a very good response in a difficult week.
We needed to win today and playing with one player less for 80 minutes is very difficult, but I think we did a very good performance.
We defended well with and without the ball but we also attacked a lot. It was a very professional response from the players.
Hull City manager Steve Bruce will discuss the incident involving George Boyd and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart during the week, according to Sky Sports.
I will have a word with George about when he's gone round (Hart).
In that situation players are waiting for it and when you're at full tilt, you should be waiting to get out of the way.
I'll have a word with George on Monday and see what his thoughts are.
I think the turning point was the goal Silva got.
Had we gone 15 or 20 minutes without them scoring, then it might have been a different situation.
We were continually chasing the game and when you do that against a quality side who are defending deep with 10 men then you huff and puff and get frustrated. It was a difficult afternoon.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!